Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Love & Marriage

I don't usually cry at weddings. But last weekend I cried at the wedding of Wendell and Manny, two very fun, intelligent, warm, loving people who are very active in the Vallejo community. Wendell and Manny have been together for 19 years, and on Saturday they were married on Mare Island.

I've been to many weddings where the couples were as giddy and loving as Wendell and Manny. I've seen exchanges of rings where the couples' hands shake and they laugh nervously as they say their vows. I've heard many variations of the wedding march as couples walk down the isle and stare adoringly at each other.

But this wedding wasn't about the cake, the flowers, or the bridesmaids' dresses. It was about true love and commitment.

This couple has already been together for more years than most marriages last, yet they didn't have the fundamental right to marry each other until last month. It made their wedding ceremony poignant for me in a way that most weddings are not.

A good friend of mine reminds me all the time that life isn't fair. I have to be reminded because I can't shake this belief that life should be fair. People should rightfully be treated with equal dignity and respect. Animals should be shown compassion and kindness by all humans. Bad deeds should be punished and good deeds rewarded.

And all people should have the right to marry each other, regardless of race, religion, sexual orientation, age, etc.

I sat in my chair on the lawn of a stately Mare Island mansion on a gorgeous warm July day, and I felt history stirring. I was honored to be a witness to this marriage, and a witness to positive change. Sometimes, life is fair.